Understand your unique approach to scrapbooking
Ask yourself, what motivates you to scrapbook in the first place? Do you think of the story first? The photo? Do you have a vision about the finished design of the layout? Or do you want to use those colorful chipboard letters or a new pattern paper you found?
When you know your process, you will know how to organize your main work area. If you are driven by photos, you will make them a priority in your scrapbooking space by putting them within arms reach. You will spend more time with photos than anything else, because you like to handle them, print them, sort them, and tack them up for a visual display.
As another example, if you tend to visualize the design of your layout, you will use fewer tools. Tools will be less important in your main work area. You will want to be able to reach for fun paper and pre-made products.
(Can’t pin down your approach? Take the quiz below.)
Key-in to the difference between storage and organization
Keep in mind that you will incorporate different organizational methods within your scrapbooking space. Photos, paper, tools, letter stickers, embellishments, even memorabilia and reference books each have their own organizational system.
So it’s important to distinguish between storage and organization. Remember that storage is the container. Organization is what you put in it and why.
Let’s take ribbon and glass jars. The jars are the storage container. The organization is ribbon sorted by color, pattern, brand or size.
Consider the Container
Choose different storage containers for different organizational reasons:
1. open & visible (basket, bin): For items that inspire you visually, use visible storage solutions that sit open in your workspace. The contents will add a decorative and inspiring element to your space.
2. open & not visible (bucket, up high): An open but opaque container stored on a shelf or in a cubby allows easy access to its contents while maintaining the visual continuity of a closed container.
3. closed & visible (glass jar): A glass jar allows you to see everything you have at a glance, making it a suitable storage solution for items you love to look at. But if you find these containers visually distracting, consider putting them behind cabinet doors or a curtain.
4. closed not visible (box with lid, or a drawer): A solid container will a lid will keep things organized but out of sight. This solution is helpful if you’re easily distracted by visual clutter or if you’re storing items that are visually uninspiring to you.
Bonus idea: The combined container
Sometimes you just need containers within a container to get the ideal storage solution. Think of a purse with lots of pockets, or your silverware drawer with the divided compartments.
I found a rectangle basket and gathered everything I would need to hand write on my projects — pens, rulers, pencils, journaling cards, even stamps. That way when I am ready to journal on a page all I need to do is pull out the basket and everything I need is inside.
Wendy Smedley is co-author of The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker. She also serves as creative editor for Simple Scrapbooks magazine, always scouting cutting edge product trends and industry news. For more about her book, visit your local scrapbook store, or link to:
For more about professional organizer, Aby Garvey, co-author of The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker, visit her blog www.creativeorganizing.typepad.com or her website www.simplify101.com.
QUIZ: Defining Your Inspiration & Approach to Scrapbooking
Can’t decide how you like to scrapbook? This results of this quiz will point you in the right direction.
1.Why did you start scrapbooking?
2.What do you love most about scrapbooking today?
3.Which of the following elements is most important to you?
stories (your journaling and words)
a means for creative expression
4.When reading a scrapbooking magazine or idea book, which is most interesting to you?
page topic or story ideas
seeing new products
seeing other scrapbooker’s layouts and learning new design techniques
Which parts of scrapbooking are easiest and most fun for you?
capturing life via written words
capturing life via photographs
shopping for and incorporating fun supplies onto my pages
designing and creating scrapbook pages
List five things or people that inspire you
emotionally or spiritually
Knowing what inspires your scrapbooking makes everything else easier. If your answers on the quiz point you in the same direction each time, you’re starting to hone in on your inspiration! Look at what you checked for questions 3 through 5. Does one of the following patterns emerge?
You’re inspired by stories. To nourish your love for telling stories:
Bring images that inspire you to tell your stories into your home or scrap space. Or create a display shelf for your journals.
Set up a place that inspires you to write and then carve out time in your schedule to write on a regular basis.
You’re inspired by photos. Celebrate your love for photography by:
Hanging and displaying photos in your scrap space and throughout your home.
Playing with your camera regularly. Shoot spontaneous photos of your family, your home, your life.
You’re inspired by supplies. To full enjoy your scrapbooking products:
Use your scrapbooking supplies to create home décor items.
Store your supplies in visible ways – let them inspire you on a regular basis.
You’re inspired by the creative process and design. Bring more creativity into your life by:
Collecting and displaying ideas that celebrate your love for design and creating.
Keeping a sketchbook handy. Use it to brainstorm new designs and to sketch ideas that catch your eye wherever you are.